Fixing Up a Used Motorcycle: Paint Finishing, Waxing and Polishing Fixing Up a Used Motorcycle: Paint Finishing, Waxing and Polishing

What You'll Need
Soft towels
Scrub brush
Soft-bristled paint brushed
Cotton swabs
Mild soap
Chrome polish
Tire dressing

Buying a used motorcycle can be a great deal. After checking out the engine you will want to clean and detail it to make it shine like new.

Step 1 – Preparation

Remove any rings, watches or other jewelry that could scratch the bike as you work on it. Be sure the bike has cooled down and you are in an area that won’t have direct sunlight which will dry the soap before you can rinse it off.

Step 2 – Wash

Rinse off the bike with a hose to get rid of any loose grit or dirt. Then mix mild soap with water in the bucket and use the sponge to give the bike a thorough washing. You want to rinse often so that the soap doesn’t dry. Be sure to keep water out of the exhaust pipe. 

Step 3 – Wheels

Cleaning the wheels is important since they are closest to ground and tend to collect road grit and brake pad dust. Use a hose with a good nozzle and a wheel cleaner that won’t damage the clear finish on the wheels. You can get thicker wheel-cleaning gel that takes longer to run off so you have time to clean.

Step 4 – Final Cleaning

Spray the bike with water to wet it before the final cleaning. Apply a motorcycle spray wash and then rinse it off. If needed, apply it again and scrub off any remaining grime.

Step 5 – Chrome

For chrome or other metal use a paintbrush. You can also use a soft paintbrush for seat, tires, and painted surface. A toothbrush helps you to get to the details. Try it on screws and irregular shaped parts.

Step 6 – Battery

Remove the battery. Clean the battery tray and the area below. Battery acid may have damaged the paint around the battery. If it has then scrape away the corroded area and sand it. Then apply primer and repaint the area.

Step 7 -Details

Using your toothbrush and cotton swabs to clean all of the nooks and crannies. Clean under the engine and around the fuel tank. Then thoroughly clean the exhaust pipes and polish up the fenders.

Step 8 – Drying

Use a soft towel to dry the bike. Use a hairdryer to dry all the areas hard to get to with a towel.

Step 9  - Wax

Wax gives a nice finished shine to the bike and it protects the paint from dirt and grime. Rub the wax onto a dry bike and buff it off.

Step 10 – Leather

Remove leather saddlebags or seat covers before cleaning the bike. Clean with a leather-friendly cleaner and a leather conditioning product to protect these items from the elements.

Step 11 – Tires

Polish the chrome spokes with a chrome cleaner. For shining up the tires, spray the tire dressing on a rag and wipe it on avoiding the tire treads and breaks.

Your bike should be looking great by now. So go for a ride and don’t worry about getting it dirty because now you know how to clean it up properly the next time.

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